Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia between 334 B.C. and 323 B.C.. He was the son of King Phillip II and Queen Olympia of Macedonia. As a boy, Alexander was taught by a leading Greek philosopher and teacher, Aristotle at his school the Nyphaeon. He became king at the age of 20 when his father was assassinated.

When Alexander took over the throne of Macedonia, revolts and rebellions broke out in Greece, which was ruled over by Macedonia. Alexander took an army to Thebes and burned the city down and killed its people as an example to the other Greek city-states. The rest of Greece stayed under Alexander’s rule and eventually supported him.

Alexander wanted to expand his empire and bring revenge against the Persians who had attacked Greece and Macedonia in the past. He assembled an army of his own and asked the Greek city-states to provide him with money, supplies, soldiers, and a navy to help him conquer all of Persia.

Alexander crossed the Aegean Sea with his army into Anatolia (modern day Turkey). There he met the Persian army, led by King Darius III, near the ancient city of Troy near the Granicus River. This was called the Battle of Granicus. Alexander’s army crushed the Persian army and King Darius III ran away and escaped to into Syria.

Alexander and his army followed King Darius into Syria where Darius had regrouped with his soldiers. Alexander and his army fought a second battle, called the Battle of Issus near a mountain pass in Syria. Even though they were outnumbered, because of the mountain pass, the larger Persian army could not surround the Greeks. Again, the Greek and Macedonian army beat the Persians and again, King Darius ran away. Darius’s family was captured near the city of Damascus in Syria.

Alexander and his army took a detour into Egypt to free them from Persian control. The Egyptians welcomed him and crowned him pharaoh of all of Egypt. While he was there, Alexander founded (started) a city named Alexandria which was to be a miniature Greece in Egypt, spreading Greek architecture and culture.

After refusing a truce with King Darius, Alexander took his army into Babylon in present day Iraq. There he fought a final battle, called the Battle of Gaugamela to conquer the rest of the Persian army. Again, King Darius escaped, this time to his palace, the Palace of Persepolis in Ecbatana (modern day Iran). At the end of the battle, when the Persian army surrendered, Alexander was declared king of Persia.

Alexander continued to track down King Darius. When his army arrived at Ecbatana, King Darius was not there. They burned his royal palace, the Palace of Persepolis to the ground. This was a symbolic action to show that Greece had conquered Persia. They eventually found King Darius hundreds of miles further into the Persian empire, murdered by one of his own guards.

Alexander and his army continued east to India. They planned on travelling down the Indus River to the ocean. First, they invaded the ancient city of Punjab in India and defeated King Porus. In this battle, Alexander and the Macedonians fought against battle elephants, which they had never seen before.

Next, while travelling down the Indus River, the army found the kingdom of Malli. During this battle, Alexander was seriously wounded, but his army was still victorious. After healing, the army reached the Indian Ocean and headed back west towards Greece.

Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C. of the disease Malaria (he caught from a mosquito bite) on his way home from India to Greece. After his death, his top generals argued over who would rule Greece. They split it into three main parts, Persia, Greece and Macedonia, and Egypt. This started the decline of the ancient Greek civilization. They were eventually conquered by the Romans.

Alexander sets out to

conquer Persia

Alexander proves his

readiness to the Greeks

Alexander becomes king

of Macedonia

Alexander in Egypt

(Alexandria is founded)

Alexander vs. Darius

Second battle

(Battle of Issus)

Alexander vs. Darius

First battle

(Battle of Granicus)

Alexander vs. King Porus

in India

The End of the Persian


Alexander vs. Darius

Third/final battle

(Battle of Gaugamela)

Alexander dies /

his Empire is split up

Alexander and the army

head towards home

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